Gov. Jared Polis and Colorado Department of Transportation Director Shoshana Lew visited Glenwood Canyon on Aug. 11, 2021. (CDOT)
A 17-mile stretch of Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon that has been closed for nearly two weeks due to mudslide damage could reopen to traffic as soon as Saturday afternoon, state officials announced.
Gov. Jared Polis made the announcement while touring the damaged portion of I-70 with Colorado Department of Transportation Director Shoshana Lew on Tuesday. Although “extensive work” remains to be performed over the next several days, officials aim to reopen the highway between mile markers 116 and 133, with traffic reduced to one lane in each direction within the most badly-damaged section near mile marker 123, according to CDOT.
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“CDOT and State Emergency Operations have made tremendous progress in cleaning up and removing tons of mud and debris that have completely blocked off access to this roadway,” Polis said in a statement. “As the state recovers from this incident and reopens this corridor Saturday afternoon, we will continue to need strong federal partners in the Biden administration and our federal delegation.”
Polis has issued two state disaster declarations in response to the mudslides, and submitted a request earlier this week for $116 million in emergency aid from the federal government to cover cleanup and repair costs, as well as to plan for “future resiliency.” The governor’s office announced that the Federal Highway Administration on Tuesday approved the expedited release of 10% of that amount, or $11.6 million, with the remainder of the request still pending.
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